Many years ago, while scuba diving in Dahab in the Sinai I watched as an octopus fought for its life. Perched on the side of an underwater cliff, this octopus was being attacked by half a dozen fish. These fish were working together to pull it off the wall and out into the open water where presumably they were going to tear it apart. Every time it looked like the fish were close to achieving their objective, the octopus would twist and reach out a tentacle to grab on to the coral. It kept moving, dodging and twisting, defying and frustrating the predators. And then it did something extraordinary; it went very still, changed colour, texture and shape until it not only resembled the surrounding coral, it became the coral. In this way, it managed to escape with its life as the fish lost track of it and moved on. The octopus is an extraordinary animal. Sure, it's smart, but so are many other creatures. What I think makes it exceptional is the way it is able to adapt to its surroundings, expanding and contracting, shifting in form to support the function demanded by the moment. It is the great chameleon, at once powerful and practically formless. It brings to mind a timeless quote from Bruce Lee: "Be formless, shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. Put it into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow, or it can crash: Be water, my friend." The ability to be water is the defining skill for the digital strategist. Our industry is characterized by constant and rapid change. To succeed, indeed, to lead in this environment needs a remarkable level of adaptability. Our path is not the rigid one of our more doctrinaire colleagues. We are not the ones that say 'that's how we have always done it'. We need to be able to understand our surroundings, the circumstances we find ourselves in and adapt rapidly, moulding our message and delivery as necessary.
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